TIME FOR CHANGE: BFVG Project Officer Hannah Lemon with the free fruit fly trap community members can collect from the BFVG office, 23 Enterprise St.
TIME FOR CHANGE: BFVG Project Officer Hannah Lemon with the free fruit fly trap community members can collect from the BFVG office, 23 Enterprise St. Contributed

How you can join the war against fruit fly

LIVING in the food bowl that is Bundaberg means locals are treated to a cornucopia of fresh produce, but we're not the only ones enjoying it.

The Queensland fruit fly similarly enjoys the region's fruits but the unwanted consumers put the multi-million dollar horticultural industry at risk.

That's why Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers is delivering a fruit fly program and encouraging residents to get involved.

"We need to protect this region from the damage caused by Queensland Fruit Fly which is a native Australian pest” says Bree Grima, managing director of BFVG.

"Commercial producers can manage fruit fly populations using a range of methods on-farm, but the urban community also has a vital role to play to help manage these pest populations.”

Bundaberg's annual farm gate value is in excess of $600 million.

Fruit fly affects commodities from citrus and mango to capsicum, tomato, strawberry, eggplant, figs and custard apple.

BFVG is providing one free fruit fly trap per household (valued at $23) and is asking residents to collect the trap from the BFVG office, hang it in their backyard and every Thursday count the number of fruit flies caught, then SMS this number along with an allocated zone reference to the BFVG office.

Monitoring the number of flies caught may help indicate hot spot.

BFVG says locals should practice good crop hygiene such as picking up and bagging fallen fruit, removing unwanted fruit fly host plants and trimming trees to a suitable height so that all the fruit can be removed each season.

"Fallen and unpicked fruit provide perfect breeding grounds for fruit fly and removing these and placing into a black bag in the sun for a few days will destroy any fruit fly larvae in the fruit” says Ms Grima.

The program is also being delivered to Reef Guardian Schools in the region.

An online training resource has been developed to educate students on the impacts of fruit fly.

"The schools have been really excited with the program content and we'll see some classes including this in their learnings from Term 2 onwards,” Ms Grima said.

The BFVG Fruit Fly program will have a stand at Agrotrend and the Fruit and Vegetable Pavilion at the Bundaberg Show.

For more information, call 4153 3007.



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